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Cob Courtyard

The Cob Courtyard by the Playground

Now in its eleventh year, the cob courtyard is presently a city-run cafe. For the history of the cob courtyard, see the Cob Courtyard page. Read more >>

Cob maintenance


posted in 2005

Toronto Public Health inspectors have told us to get proper sinks for food preparation by the wading pool this coming summer or stop doing the playground food cart. Georgie Donais wants to build a little courtyard around the sinks, and then some. The courtyard walls would be made of "cob," an OLD way of building that's catching on again. Georgie's proposal:

An earthen-walled courtyard will enclose the space to the northwest of the pool, creating an outdoor gathering place. It will be built with a sand-clay-straw mix known as "cob" or "monolithic adobe", which is mixed by foot and applied by hand. The first stage of the project will provide a spot for the washing station required by Public Health so that park staff can continue to serve food by the pool this summer. As the wall extends, it can be built to include arches, doorways, niches, shelves, benches, a puppet window, sculptures and mosaics, small roofs, and a lavatory. Native plantings will be incorporated around and within the courtyard. The project will be planned in stages, starting with the washing station, and extending further as time and resources allow.

Experiential workshops will serve to involve the local community in the building of the courtyard, as well as educate them about natural building techniques. The project will offer workshops for classes of local school children in June, and for the general community over the summer. We will likely have several work bees, where people can sign up to help and to learn. There will also be opportunities for participation on selected weekdays throughout the summer.

This project aims to engage all users of the park, especially the parents and children who make the south end of the park their summer home. They will be the main users of the structure once it is built, and can make sizable contributions to its creation. Adults and children of all ages will be welcomed and encouraged to participate. For children who have less interest in participating than their caregivers, we would like to offer options for supervised play while the adults build.

A show-and-tell link from Georgie: cascadiacob slide show.

Georgie & Emory with Cobs

Vancouver Cob Meditation
house by Down To Earth
Building Bee


Stanley Park
Cob Popcorn Stand
Vancouver, British Columbia

from The Stanley Park
Earthen Architecture Project


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